Sermon Notes & References

“Closing Praise”

Matthew 6:13

August 19, 2018

A.  Uncomfortable Questions

      1.  What Is God Really Like? 1

      2.  “Isn’t the Bible Contradictory?”

      3.  Study of Bible Manuscripts

B.  A Fitting Close

      1.  An Outburst of Praise

      2.  An Expression of Faith 2


1 Matthew 6:13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “Closing Praise”

 

A. Uncomfortable Questions

    1. What Is God Really Like?

        a. you may have had this experience … you are trying to witness to a friend, a co-worker, a neighbour

            (A)    and they come out with a wealth of objections

                 (1)    objections they have been storing up for just a time as this

                 (2)    just as you have been memorising verses to give a testimony

                 (3)    and you have just given, for example, John 3:16 … “For God so loved … “

            (B)    and they come back with questions

                 (1)    How can you say God loves?

                 (2)    If there is a God

                     (a)    why did He allow this or that disaster?

                     (b)    why did He destroy everyone with a flood?

                     (c)    why did He let my mother die with such suffering?

                     (d)    why did He order Israel to slay all the Palestinians, men, women, even innocent children?

            (C)   or a 1001 other responses, which have been used by unbelievers

                 (1)    so that you are left flustered and frustrated, because you just don’t know where to begin to answer

                 (2)    on their part, we understand of them “in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NAS)

                 (3)    yet those objections demand an answer, and in the absence of faith in the hearer, what is there that you can say?

                 (4)    indeed, you may have asked those same questions yourself.

        b. we need to define the real problem

            (A)    man naturally has a distorted view of God

                 (1)    this is especially true of unbelievers, but exists in all of us, too

                     (a)    God made man in His own image

                     (b)    and man, to some extent, makes God in our own image

                 (2)    so that at best God is considered as the tin-pot ruler of the universe

                     (a)    and if He loves us humans

                     (b)    then He should accede to our every whim and demand

                     (c)    man judges God by man-made ideas and standards

                     (d)    ‘If God doesn’t meet my expectations, I won’t believe!’

            (B)    the lovely, model prayer to our heavenly Father that Jesus taught

                 (1)    should lift out minds above such notions

                 (2)    to have a glimpse of God’s nature as He really is

                 (3)    to understand the sense of God’s words in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

            (C)   and so we come to the closing doxology of this prayer

                 (1)    For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen

                 (2)    from which we could delve into the deepest of deep theology

                 (3)    but then I would be swimming beyond my depth!

                 (4)    so let us rather seek to gain an appreciation for the fact that for God to be God indeed, then He must be who He is – any other concept will short-change Him of His majestic Being.

        c. but before leaving the objections of the unbeliever to our witness, let us go back to a related question, which also bears upon this verse

 

    2. “Isn’t the Bible Contradictory?”

        a. which can get really tricky … no wonder, that is Satan’s purpose!

        b. for example, as we have already noted, the record of this prayer in Matthew differs from that in Luke

            (A)    which to the scoffer is evidence of a contradiction

            (B)    but the careful reader with see immediately that these are records of two different occasions: one to a large crowd on the mountain, the other in private to the disciples

            (C)   and, in Jesus’ ministry through those 3½ years, it seems most likely that this model prayer, as well as the parables, were taught many times to different people on different occasions

            (D)   which accounts for the variation among the gospels

        c. such variations are also exaggerated by the multiplicity of translations

            (A)    some of which are by a single translator (Weymouth, J. B. Phillips, Rotherham, Petersen) which are inherently defective as they echo the biases of that translator

            (B)    while others use words that had meaning to a specific location or time – that is the problem that is constantly facing those seeking to translate the Bible into the mother tongues of people with a markedly different culture and environment

            (C)   and, finally there are the differences that have arisen from the …

 

    3. Study of Bible Manuscripts

        a. for in the last part of this verse,

            (A)    For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

            (B)    depending upon your Bible translation you will find, in the

                 (1)    AV (KJV) & NKJV – exactly what I have just read – so, those of you who use either of these versions are spared much of what I am about to say!

                 (2)    NASB – these words in brackets, with or without a note in the margin, “This clause omitted in the earliest manuscripts.”

                 (3)    RSV: ‘Other authorities, some ancient, add, in some form, “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever. Amen”.’

                 (4)    NIV: Some late manuscripts … “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

        b. I do not want to get deeply involved in this matter of manuscripts

            (A)    but, quite rightly, people get concerned with these notes

            (B)    so I will make a few comments

                 (1)    there are a number of major manuscripts, that are considered the most reliable, dating from the 4th & 5th centuries

                 (2)    the ones that are most complete – including nearly all the NT – are usually favoured above the others

                 (3)    these words are not found in those favoured one

            (C)   but they are found in one of them, the Washingtonianus which is in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, and is "consistently cited witness of the first order" 2

                 (1)    here is the page containing Matthew 6:13 3 and you find it does so in full.

                 (2)    this is in a much respected manuscript containing the gospels

                 (3)    this is one of the ancient authorities to which the RSV refers

            (D)   but there is another ancient authority, “Teachings of Jesus”, or the Didache, which seems to have been an early catechism, and from perhaps as early as 100AD, which has in it a copy of this prayer, with these words substantially included

        c. so, I find myself agreeing with the pastor & Bible teacher, Dr. Ray Pritchard, who says, “I regard the benediction as the legitimate words of Jesus. Everyone agrees that the words are both true and biblical (King David used similar words in 1 Chronicles 29:11-13). They form a fitting end to the Lord's Prayer. In fact, it would be difficult to compose a more fitting conclusion.” 4

        d. and on the basis of their being part of God’s word we are looking at them this morning

 

B. A Fitting Close

    1. An Outburst of Praise

        a. how often we come in the Scriptures to some section

            (A)    it could be a record of history, like that just mentioned of David

            (B)    or one of Paul’s letters such as we read earlier from Romans 11, where Paul has been dealing with the partial, temporary setting aside of the Jewish nation on account of disobedience & unbelief,

            (C)   or in one of the prayers in the Psalms, where the writer has been complaining about the personal trials he is experiencing, or the national tribulations of Israel, or the deterioration of the temple,

            (D)   or in the description of the ongoing spiritual conflict as found in the book of Revelation

            (E)    there erupts an outburst of praise to the Lord our God & Saviour

            (F)    as the subject under discussion has given rise to the realisation that our God is worthy of all praise, adoration and glory

        b. men and women are always seeking praise, adoration & glory

            (A)    there is a certain pitcher on the Toronto Blue Jays who got himself in trouble with the media by Twittering that he was being shown no respect – complaining of their complaints of his performance

            (B)    of course the reaction was , ‘then pitch better’

        c. but God doesn’t need our praise

            (A)    His performance is perfect (though our imperfect eyes may fail to discern that, this is certainly the case … for He is God!)

            (B)    and though we sing, “I was made to praise You”, yet our praise does not add anything to whom God is, nor does our lack of praise subtract anything from His being

            (C)   our praise, adoration and glory of the Lord our God, rather than being for His benefit, is for our own blessing & benefit

            (D)   for, it is as we exalt Him in our thoughts and understanding, that our prayers begin to take on the mind of Christ being in us

            (E)    recognising that whether

                 (1)    He answers our prayers with “Yes”, with “No” or with “Wait”

                 (2)    we are in good times and circumstances, or bad,

                 (3)    He, our Heavenly Father, is our all in all

                 (4)    the word, “for”, that starts these words confesses that we can make these requests of our Father, for the following words are true

        d. so praise – as in the Lord’s prayer, is an admission to God and to ourselves that God does know and does do what is best for His children, that God hears and answers prayer and is therefore …

 

    2. An Expression of Faith 5

        a. For Thine is the kingdom….

            (A)    We praise Him declaring He is the King over His Kingdom, recognizing that He is King and we are His subjects

            (B)    It is His Kingdom, not ours. We are here for Him. He is not here for us. We serve Him because He is worthy – by His death on the cross He purchased us for Himself

            (C)   However, we are also reminded that we have been made partakers of this Kingdom. Jesus said in Luke 12:32, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” By God’s sovereign choice and grace, we have been “delivered…from the domain of darkness, and transferred…to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). While we acknowledge and glorify the Lord as King of His Kingdom, we claim our place as its citizens

        b. For Thine is…the power….

            (A)    We also affirm in praise that all power belongs to our Lord. It is His power, not ours, that rules His Kingdom. We cannot succeed as Christians in our own power. We have neither enough, nor the right kind of, power. We settle for less than God has for us when we fail to draw on God’s power

            (B)    Pride keeps us from admitting we need God’s power. Praising God is the antidote to such pride, an expression of our dependence

        c. For Thine is…the glory….

            (A)    Just as it is His Kingdom, not ours, in which we serve; and just as it is His power, not ours, we so desperately need; so also it is His glory, not ours, we seek to exalt and reflect by our lives.

            (B)    As servants of Christ, we should never seek to exalt ourselves,

        d. let us wrap up these thoughts before we leave this morning

            (A)    We are called to seek God’s Kingdom, to pray for His power, and to desire His glory to be made known. Declaring in this way that God is God indeed, we not only speak the truth, but we also reinforce that truth to our minds and hearts.

            (B)    This model prayer lays out what is involved in communion with our heavenly Father. Thus in His presence is made so evident His Deity and our humanity. As we bow before Him in humble worship and praise, as we exalt His name, as we glorify Him, then He will touch us with the realization of His greatness, and we shall never be the same.


Footnotes

Endnotes

1

© 2018 by Garth Hutchinson, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church of Aurora (Ontario): may be distributed or quoted freely, only let this be done to the glory “of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus ii.13). Except as noted otherwise, quotations are from the New American Standard version, used by permission. Various other English versions of the Holy Bible may be used in this sermon. Explanatory additions to the Bible text are shown in [braces]. Version identifiers are:

 

              AV          Authorized (King James) Version of 1769

              NAS        New American Standard version © 1960, 1995 The Lockman Foundation (usually the 1995 edition)

              NIV         New International Version © 1984 by the International Bible Society

              NKJV              New King James Version © 1979 Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers

              NLT         New Living Translation © 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust

              NRSV             New Revised Standard Version © 1989 Division of Christian Education of national Council of Churches of Christ

              JBP         The New Testament in Modern English, J. B. Phillips, Geoffrey Bles Ltd

              RSV        Revised Standard Version © 1946, 1952 National Council of Churches of Christ; Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd

              UBS        Greek text of the United Bible Societies; particularly that published in 1954 by The British and Foreign Bible Society

              WEY               The New Testament in Modern Speech © 1902, 1912 R. F. Weymouth


Some of the commentaries and resources used in the preparation of this message are identified as follow:


              Barnes –  Notes on the New Testament by Alfred E. Barnes

              Calvin –   Commentaries on the Bible, by Jean Calvin; translated into English & published in the Online Bible.

              EBC             The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, © 1986 Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 49530, MI:

              EGT             The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Hodder & Stoughton; 1903

              JFB  -      Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown; S. S. Scranton & Co. 1872

              Gill       Exposition of the Old Testament, Exposition of the New Testament, by John Gill, D.D.

              Kerux –   The sermon & illustration data base compiled by Rev. David Holwick at the web-site, www.holwick.com.

              Lightfoot –      Commentary on the New Testament by Bishop John Lightfoot

              RWP             Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, by Dr. A. T. Robertson

              TTB      Thinking Through the Bible, Rev’d John McNicol, D.D., © 1944 by the author; The Upper Canada Tract & Book Society.

2

E.G., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Washingtonianus

3

From The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts,

         http://www.csntm.org/Manuscript/View/GA_032

4

“Praying From the Footnotes” by Revd. Dr. Ray Pritchard, Kerux sermons #64031

5

The thoughts in this section have been taken from a Message by Revd David Hoke, ‘The Pattern Prayer: Returning To Praise’, Kerux sermons #2443